I am finally a Club Fat Ass member. No kidding! CFA is a grassroots sports club. Members host running, triathlon, cycling and other “active lifestyle” events for fellow members. Club events are fun, physically challenging, environmentally friendly and emphasize camaraderie as much as competition – don’t look at me like that, I copied and pasted this from their website! Enjoy!
Fat Ass events are an ultrarunning tradition. The tradition dates back to 1978 in California when Joe Oakes needed to come up with a 50-mile qualifying time for the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run.
The only local distance event he could find was the 50 mile Christmas Relays which required a team of 7, so he entered himself for each of the 7 legs and attracted 10 teams to accompany his solo attempt. Organizing the relay was a chore, so the next year (1979) Joe just invited anyone who wanted to run an informal 50-miler to join him. He called it the Fat Ass 50.
The concept of low-key, no frills, low or no cost events has struck a chord with experienced, self-sufficient runners. The name Fat Ass has stuck for this type of event and numerous Fat Ass events have sprung up around the world.
Another Western States 100-mile participant, Ean Jackson, hosted the first Fat Ass 50 kilometer run in Canada on New Years day in 1993. Inspired by Joe Oakes, his objective was to create an annual hangover cure for himself and a few ultrarunning friends that could be totally managed over the Internet, leaving him free to run with his friends rather than fret about the details of event management.
I am participating in my first event this weekend: the Three Dolla Bill Run in Waterloo.
The run is a 10.55 KM loop. There is also a 21K and 42K option. The course is a loop through Waterloo Park and the University of Waterloo. It is on city trails and roads and bonus: you don’t need to declare your distance before you start. I will go for a half marathon and see if I have energy for more.
See you out there!